They depart Asteroath on a warm day in late autumn. It seems warmer than it should be this time of year, but as this is a different island with different vegetation than they are used to, maybe the weather is different, too.
Preen and Jonathan try to learn from Jeremy how to fly an airship. Aware of their lack of knowledge on that front, and wanting to keep this information from the rest of the crew, Jeremy masks his teachings by continuously asking the ‘captains’ for advice, thus showing them exactly how things are done.
Preen plays along masterfully, and the crew is impressed. In the evening a sailor emerges from below deck, looks at the people gathered at the helm, and then walks to Jeremy, whispering something in his ear.
It turns out that they are using much more fuel than anticipated, about twice as much as when they flew between the islands. Why this is the case, is not clear. Maybe flying over land has something to do with this? Lini suggests to fly higher to avoid this problem.
Jonathan and Preen check the engine room with the fuel blocks and indeed, more blocks have stopped glowing than what was expected. While Jonathan remains in the engine room, Preen wants to have a look at the bottom side of the ship, to see if everything is in order. He is secured with a rope and clambers over the railing to be lowered gently down so he can inspect the ship. At the bottom of the ship is a big crystal of about 1.5 meter in diameter, which glows in the same way as the fuel bricks. This is the reason the ship stays afloat. When Preen does not spot anything out of the ordinary, as far as he can tell, he signals to be pulled up again.
Back at the helm, Preen pulls on it to go upward, but for some reason this does not work. It seems the land mass below holds the ship down, and thus has a large effect on the flying of the ship. Consigned to this, they remain flying at the height they can, and as they have bought double the expected need of fuel blocks, they are certain they will reach Iomedae, but they will have to buy more fuel there for their journey back.
The first two to three days they fly mainly over a landscape of trees and fields with farms. It is clearly getting warmer the further inland they go. After some time the trees and fields are replaced by heather with flocks of sheep.
During the days flying to Iomedae, Jonathan takes the time to try to speak with his little dragon. He introduces himself to the little creature, and in turn the dragon gives him her name, which is very long and complicated to pronounce. Jonathan decides to call her Nala, who seems to be pleased by this name. He decides to question her about how she came to be in the cave where he found her. “I curious” she says in the draconinc tongue, “With friend! Got eaten by spider…”_ The dragon looks a bit sad when she tells this. Jonathan also gathers she lost the rest of the group of dragons. But then she adds with something that could be a smile: “But now you my clutch!” Then she asks where Jonathan is going. Jonathan tries to explain. Nala thinks this all is very exciting, but also scary. She then wants to play hide-and-seek. She is VERY good at hiding. Jonathan searches the ship from back to front and from top to bottom, hearing her voice in his head say “cold” when he is not near, and “warmer” when he is getting closer.
Thus are the days spent on the Freebird, Jonathan occupied with his friend Nala, Preen trying to learn as much as possible from Jeremy about sailing an airship, and Lini is spending her time drowning in the sights of the new and unfamiliar land below her. After a total flying time of four and a half days, they arrive in Iomedae, which is a really large city. A big temple can be seen in the middle of the city. This is the biggest city any of them has ever seen. In front of the city, outside the city walls, a large encampment is present, but it is devoid of any activity. There is no skyport as such as is present in the cities at the edge of the island, and they do not see any big airships, only a small vessel, containing two persons, one of which is waving a red flag. When they near the small boat, they see that the occupants are a male elf and female human, who had been playing cards before their arrival. The vessel is a pilot boat, used to take people down from the big ships that can throw out their anchor in front of the city.
They are taken down to the deserted encampment, and ask the pilots where the dwarf Oakendigger may be. They recall him having been here earlier for business, but he has returned to the city when the fleet left a few days ago. Lini pays Jeremy the agreed amount of 20 gold for the trip, and after the crew finishes settling the airship, the crew is allowed leave and go to the city. Jeremy is also given an additional 50 gold for fuel bricks, which they will need to get back to Asteroath.
Preen, Jonathan and Lini walk towards the city, at about one kilometer distance from where they were put down from their ship. They intend to find Grormil Oakendigger, to fulfill the contract of the late captain Liam. When they reach the city, the city gates are open, and they ask where they may find Oakendigger. The dwarf can be found in the trade district, the guards explain how to get there. Once in the trade district, they quickly find a large warehouse bearing the name of Oakendigger painted in big letters at the frond. They enter the small office through the door at the side of the building, and are met by a dwarf. They ask for Oakendigger, but the dwarf says that Oakendigger is not present, but that he, Thorin, his agent, may be of assistance. They show him the contract between Oakendigger and captain Liam. After a brief perusal of the contract, Thorin says: “You are too late!”
They explain about the mutiny and what has befallen them, and that captain Liam is dead, but the dwarf shows no compassion. When they point out there is no specific date mentioned on the contract, after much grumbling the dwarf agrees to pay them the remaining 100 gold, but only if the shipment is complete and undamaged. He will send out his men to collect the goods as soon as he has them available, which is expected to be this day still
Lini goes back to the airship to await and supervise the unloading of the ship, while Jonathan and Preen decide to go to the market to do some shopping.
In the market district, Preen and Jonathan look for arrows, magical weapons and musical instruments. At some point, when Preen is distracted, Jonathan buys a tin whistle, and pockets it quickly before Preen can see it. They later find a blacksmith by name of Kador Understone, who also sells magical weapons. When they enter the shop, they notice that it has a very posh interior. All items are at least of masterwork quality. About one in three items are magical. Preen asks for a magical rapier, and there are two in stock, he is allowed to try them in an area in the back of the shop.
The first rapier he tries (+ 1 magic) feels light in his hands, and has a natural flow. This rapier would cost him 2200 gold pieces.
The second rapier however (+ 3 with air/fire magic) surpasses the first rapier in all aspects. It feels like an extension of his arm, and it almost seems as if the rapier ‘knows’ what Preen intends to do, and contributes to the strikes, stabs and parries he practices. Preen is very enamored by this rapier, but when he hears the price – 48000 goldpieces – he swallows hard, and says “I’ll have to save a bit more money before I can buy this beauty…”
But Preen does decide he wants to buy the first magic rapier. He has brought the magical bracers with him as part of the payment, which, after close examination by the clerk, would get him 800 gp. Preen then also pulls out the shackles of compliance from his pouch, and lays them on the desk in front of the clerk. These get a much more thorough examination, and a final offering of 3000 goldpieces is given for this item.
Preen decides to buy the rapier with the two magical items, and after handing them over, he receives the rapier and also 1550 gold pieces. As the proceeds of the shackles of compliance have to be split in three, he gives Jonathan 1000 gold pieces then and there, and also intends to give Lini 1000 gold pieces when he is back on the ship. Jonathan has found some nice arrows in this ship, and purchases 20 silver tipped arrows and two arrows for sleeping.
Preen thanks the clerk for doing business with them, and before saying a final goodbye asks for a good tavern to celebrate his new purchase.